Before we look at the verses you asked about, I’d like to briefly consider Isaiah 53.  This chapter is probably the most touching and appealing chapters in this book, if not in the entire Old Testament.  That it is prophetic of the Lord Jesus Christ is beyond question.

  • Verse 3 tells us, “He is despised and rejected of men…”  We read of the Lord Jesus in John 1:11, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”
  • Verse 4 says, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows…”  The verse is applied to the Lord in Matthew 8:17, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”
  • Verse 5 says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”  Peter says of the Lord in 1 Peter 2:24, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

There are several more direct references to, and prophesies about, the Lord Jesus in this chapter, but I think that is enough to show us clearly that this chapter is speaking of the sacrificial work of the Lord Jesus Christ when He gave Himself a sacrifice for our sins.

It is in virtue of this great chapter that we find the gracious call to all to come to the Lord as we find in Isaiah 55:1-2 which says, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”

Going beyond the boundaries of Israel, this is a universal invitation to all those who are thirsty and poor and hungry.  The call goes out to “everyone who thirsteth” to come to the ‘waters’.  The word is used in a plural sense to show there is abundance.  The Lord said in Isaiah 44:3, “For I pour waters on a thirsty one…” (YLT)  Notice the progression of benefit in this precious offer from the Lord: waters, wine, and milk.

  • WATER satisfies the thirsty soul.
  • WINE brings joy to the suffering one.
  • MILK gives nutrition to the weak.

How is it that these things are offered to us “without money?”  The offer of salvation to the world is a gift from a loving God to a sinful world.  Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Besides that, we are all spiritually bankrupt and have nothing to offer to the Lord.  We cannot buy eternal life.  We cannot earn eternal life.  But, we can receive the gift of eternal life simply by receiving it from God.  Ephesians 2:8 makes it clear, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”  We receive that gift by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior.  Romans 10:9 tells us, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Back in Isaiah 55:2, we find the Lord chiding some for wasting their money on things that are not really bread.  And for working hard for those things that do not satisfy.  All who seek to save themselves by their own righteousness are spending “money for that which is not bread,” and they will remain empty and unsatisfied.  It is only God’s salvation that can fill the human soul.  The only way to have salvation is through faith in the Lord Jesus.  No money, no works of righteousness will ever give us eternal life.  It’s only when we “hearken diligently unto” the Word of the Lord and receive Christ as our savior that we can truly become eternally satisfied!  It is all based on knowing that loving, suffering savior that we read about in Isaiah 53.  (189.5)